I had it all figured out. I was so smart. I had arranged for HRH Berkeley (that's what we're calling her, her royal highness Berkeley or HRH for short or sometimes just pretty princess) to arrive a week before Bingo left to distract us all from the trauma to come. It worked. We were nuts. New puppy in the house craziness (more on that later) aside, it did serve as a welcome distraction in someways and not in others.
The day before he left, I had a meeting at work and I took Bingo with me so that he would have some me time and get away from the puppy. Afterwards we all went out for lunch. Near the end of lunch, I took him to the restaurant with me. Now, mind you that this whole week, I haven't shed one tear I have been so busy with the puppy. I have been rather pleased with myself actually thinking how I have it all in hand and have made this wonderful decision and have it all worked out, aren't I the smart one.
We walk to the restroom and open the stall door. It's one of those small stalls. Bingo isn't real thrilled with the cramped space and gives me a peeved glance. "Oh, squash it." I turn him all around until he is sitting at the front of the stall and I am sitting on the toilet staring at him. Again with his meaningful glance. I begin to think, "this is the last time I will be with Bingo in a restaurant bathroom, ever." And then to my astonishment, I begin to cry. In the bathroom of Toojays in International mall. Bingo looks at me. I throw my arms around him and hug him. Did I hear a flush? I don't care.
I wait a while. Then I let him go and finish. Back out to wash my hands and pretend I am under control. Only now, I know that it is a facade.
What you see above is a photo taken by Mary Lou Garcia (Durga Garcia Photography), who also happens to be a puppy raiser and the owner of Rob the lab on the far left. Bingo is in the middle and Jim is on the right. I love this shot because it shows the boys getting back to knowing each other as littermates again. We didn't turn our boys in alone.
We met as a group, took some photos (the best of which came from Mary Lou!) and then we turned the boys into SEGD. Then we had lunch and went back home. What was good about this plan was that since we were in a big group, I was forced into maintaining some semblance of calm and composure. So I was able to get through the passing them off to the trainer ok.
Plus, SEGD believes in the ripping the bandaid off quickly approach to turning your puppy IFT. So once you say you are ready to turn your puppy in, make sure you've said your goodbyes and have taken all your photos.
The only photos left are the ones with their new trainers. Bingo had Kayla.
We all lunch after that and talked about different things. Then we headed home. I was congratulating myself for getting through the day with a minimum of tears. Having the comfort of friends was a great idea and really helped. Having the process be quick was excellent as well.
So that night when I turned out all the lights and was walking up the stairs to bed and saw Bingo's crate broken down in pieces because we only need one crate now, you all know I didn't cry don't you?